I’ve been loving the fall this year. It seems like the leaves have such color and are lasting a long time. I don’t rake or blow them so that might have a lot to do with it. You couldn’t ask for nicer weather, cool crisp mornings and warm afternoons. Pumpkins, apples, pears, Halloween, Nevada Day with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner. I know a lot of people still use their grill even when the weather gets colder, but I tend to cook inside because I like the way the heat from the oven and stove help to warm up the house.
Lots of happenings in our little town lately, new restaurants and businesses. It seems like there are a lot of people just enjoying our beautiful new main street and sidewalks. My friend, Angela Bullentini Wolf, has plans to open a restaurant in the old Horseshoe Club that’s in the process of being renovated. She’s been working on the concept of a farm to fork restaurant for a year now and plans to focus on local and organic ingredients with a big lean toward healthy. She hopes to open “Gather” by the spring of next year. I’m helping her with connecting Nevada Farmers to Carson City tables.
The seasons and the years go by so fast. I started working at the Ormsby House in 1972 when I was just 24 years old. Yesterday I turned 69 and 45 years went by in the blink of an eye. It was a great place to work until Woody Loftin died and after that not so much, which is why Ralph and I left and opened Marrone’s. We made a lot of friends while working there and those who are still living are some of our best friends still. Here’s a shout out to just a few of the treasured ones: Clark Russell, Karen Gasper, Paula Tlachac, Sharon Rodela Fiori, Patsy Newton, Maria Harig, Gary and Shelly Dannenhauer, Jeff Loflin, Steve and Sally Bilyeu, Bob and Mary McDonald, Shirlee Veverka and Don and Norma Reasons. The list of all those friends who aren’t with us is just as long. The seasons change and life goes on and new and wonderful things happen in our little town all the time. You just have to get out there and be a part of it all.
This recipe I’m going to share with you today is originally from C&H sugar. I don’t even have the recipe anymore except in my head and I’ve modified it and added cream cheese. I think it keeps the muffins moist and they don’t seem quite as sweet. This is a great way to use up those overly ripe bananas.
Banana Nut Muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 or 4 ounces softened cream cheese (if you have a 3 ounces, use that or if you have an 8 ounce, just cut it in half, either one is fine)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/3 cup flour, little more if needed
1 cup chopped walnuts
Beat your butter and cream cheese together. Add sugar and vanilla, then eggs one at a time. Add the rest of your ingredients and beat till everything is incorporated. Fill the tins 2/3 full and be sure and use cupcake liners. I bake them in oversized muffin tins and the regular ones. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake in a 375-degree oven for 20 minutes for the regular and 30 minutes for the larger ones, testing with a toothpick to see if they’re done.
Yield is six large muffins and six small ones. You could also use a loaf pan or small loaf pans for banana bread — 25 minutes for small loaf pans and 55 minutes for a large one.
Linda Marrone, a longtime Carson resident, manages the 3rd & Curry Street Farmers Market and is the director of Nevada Certified Farmers Market Association.